Javier Milei will travel to Antarctica today to start a pollution control program


The president will leave this afternoon for Santa Cruz, spend the night in Río Gallegos and first thing on Saturday he will travel to the Marambio Base.

Javier Milei flies to the Marambio Base to start a pollution control program in Antarctica.

Casa Rosada confirmed that the head of state will leave with his delegation today at 5 p.m. to Santa Cruz, spend the night at a military base in Río Gallegos and first thing on Saturday he will travel to the Marambio Base to undertake the official activity.

The mission was planned after the meeting between Milei and the director of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Javier Grossi, a key member of the United Nations that tries to harmonize the nuclear interests of the geopolitical powers. Both analyzed the global agenda and the particular situation of Latin America, the only area on the planet that does not - officially - register weapons of mass destruction.

During the meeting that took place in Casa Rosada, Grossi explained to the president that the IAEA is promoting a pollution control project in Antarctica. In this framework, Milei decided to travel to the Marambio Base to launch the initiative that has its predecessor in an identical program that is being developed in the Arctic.

The Head of State will travel accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Worship, Diana Mondino; the Ministers of Defense, Luis Petri, and of the Interior, Guillermo Francos; and his sister, the Secretary General of the Presidency, Karina Milei.

Grossi has already held meetings with Mondino and Petri to advance the initiative that will take place this weekend.

Although the goal is to leave for Antarctica first thing on Saturday, it will depend on weather conditions. After visiting the Marambio Base, the president's idea is to return to Buenos Aires on January 6 at nightfall.

On June 7, 2022, the scientific journal The Cryosphere published a detailed study that revealed the discovery of microscopic remains of plastics in the snow of Antarctica. Microplastics were found in 19 locations on Ross Island - almost 60 kilometers from Marambio Base -, Ross Base and McMurdo Station.

These small plastic particles, which had already been detected in the water and sea ice of Antarctica, have the potential to influence the climate, since on a large scale they could accelerate the melting of ice and snow, maintains the study published in The Cryosphere. Antarctica contains about 80% of the planet's fresh water, and records the lowest average humidity and average temperature in the world, hence its importance as the Earth's ice cube."

It is extremely sad. The discovery of microplastics in the fresh snow of Antarctica shows that plastic pollution reaches the most remote regions of the world," said Alex Aves, principal investigator of the study published in The Cryosphere.

The group of scientists who used chemical analysis techniques and microscopes identified the presence of 29 microplastic particles per liter of snow, in the vicinity of the Scott and McMurdo bases, and on Ross Island. Scientists have not known for how long the fresh snow of Antarctica contains this material that is harmful to its ecosystem.

13 different types of plastic were found, the most common being PET (Polyethylene Terephthalte), usually used to make soft drink bottles and clothing. In October 2022, through the NUClear TECHnology for Plastic Pollution Control (NUTEC Plastics) initiative , a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Government of the Argentine Republic and the IAEA. The Memo established collaboration to monitor the presence of microplastics in Antarctica, as well as promote the exchange of data and technical knowledge.

Six months later, in April 2023, a meeting was organized at the IAEA laboratories in Monaco, which was led by representatives of the Chancellery of the Argentine Antarctic Institute (IAA). At that meeting, progress was made in the initiative led by Grossi, but in the end everything remained at an impasse waiting for the electoral scenario in Argentina to be defined. Already with Milei as president, Grossi approached Milei with the idea and in the next few hours he will undertake his first trip since he has been in charge of the country.

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